Dezerter

Profile:
SS-20 were formed in May 1981, in the Warszawa region. All four members were very young, and more or less learned to play their instruments by forming this group. The original line-up was Robert "Robal" Matera-guitar/vocals, Darek "Stepa" Stepnowski, and Krzysiek Grabowski-drums. Soon after, Darek "Skandal" Hain joined on lead vocals.

SS-20 was a secret weapon, a nuclear missile designed by the USSR. There were two designs of the missile, it was able to fly up to 6000 km, and was in use between 1975 to 1991, when the introduction of international anti-nuclear war pacts made it illegal. Hence, the name itself was considered an incredible provocation for many. Articles ran thru both the Polish and Russian press regarding the "punk" group's name. Soon enough, the group experienced censors examining their lyrics before concerts telling them which songs they could not perform due to their subject matter. "We would comply, and as soon as the censors left, we would go ahead and play them anyway..." -Robal. Eventually the group came to a point that they were unable to even list their name on concert posters, and with more and more difficulty to perform under this controversial name, the group had to abandon the title of "SS20". These early days were documented in a small film made about the group titled "Byc Czlowiekiem" (A. Pakula) filmed July 1982.

By the beginning of '83, the group had introduced the new name, Dezerter, at which point the members had solidified their sound, as a hardcore punk group, certainly the second generation. Sierpien 1983, Dezerter were granted the opportunity to record a 7" EP under supervision of the state label Tonpress. The general commission selected 4 songs they found most lyrically acceptable. Released in 1984, this became the first punk single with blatant political text against the system to be issued within Poland; ironically enough issued by the hypocritical system which they rejected. The 7", packaged in a generic coloured Tonpress sleeve, sold a phenominal 50,000 copies. Members of the group actually made an alternate xerox-collage cover, which was thinly distributed mostly around the Warszawa region. After this initial pressing sold out, the commission at Tonpress over-ruled it being re-issued, and hundreds or thousands of copies were destroyed.

Still 1984, Dezerter performed at the massive Jarocin Festival. This was a climactic point for the group, absolutely blistering fast and tightly performed. The concert was recorded, and the result was the underground cassette release, Jeszcz Zywy Czlowiek. By 1985, the group had already made a massive progression with their sound, incorporating new wave/jazzpunk elements, while still maintaining their hard edge. A second cassette was released, another soundboard recording, this time from the Hybryd Club in Warsaw, titled Izolacja. Something very interesting about this tape was that it was a split with an un-named (unknown) group from the USSR. The first Polish Underground sampler LP was issued this same year on Polton, Fala, including Dezerter. This LP was accompanied by an insert with information on each group. An interesting note is that this was quite a "grass-roots" project, and a very interesting example of the spectrum of creativity coming from the country.

In 1986, Dezerter were included on the first all-punk sampler LP from Poland, Jak Punk To Punk. This new Tonpress LP came with absolutely zero information regarding the groups which it featured.

Dezerter1987 Skandal parted ways with Dezerter, and their first concert without him would be the Jarocin Festival, at which point Robal took over on lead vocals. This same year, the group's meeting with Canadian punk Joey Shithead of D.O.A. brought them the issue of their first full length LP, Underground Out of Poland. Released by Maximum Rock n Roll Collective (U.S.A.), the LP consisted of live recordings from their demos, and the 4 tracks from their Tonpress 7", re-issued without authorization of Tonpress. The case was with all punk bands to record with Tonpress, that the label usually found some way of the rights to the recording remaining in custody of the state label, and the group receiving absolutely zero royalties. This year, the group also made their first professional studio LP, Kolaboracja. The LP was issued under a vinyl-club, and only available through the post. Released by the Razem Label, 5000 pressed. Today, a very rare item.

Dezerter are without doubt the most well known, if not the only Polish Punk group known at an international level. Their tours of Western Europe and Japan, as well as their promotion through the international underground brought them a deserved success which continues to flourish. Dezerter have maintained their power and conviction, musically and ethically. They are still a D.I.Y. band. Family and employment have obviously affected how active they are, but they still tour at least once a year. They have changed bassists a few times, but Krzysiek and Robal still remain original members. Skandal died in 1995(?).
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Albums

003 Dezerter - Jeszcze Żywy Człowiek album art Dezerter Jeszcze Żywy Człowiek (Album) Tank Records (7) 003 Poland 1984 Sell This Version
004 Dezerter - Izolacja album art Dezerter / Unknown Artist Dezerter / Unknown Artist - Izolacja (Comp) Tank Records (7) 004 Poland 1986 Sell This Version
MRR 003 Dezerter - Underground Out Of Poland album art Dezerter Underground Out Of Poland (Comp, Album) Maximumrocknroll MRR 003 US 1987 Sell This Version
RLP 020 Dezerter - Kolaboracja album art Dezerter Kolaboracja (Album) Klub Płytowy Razem RLP 020 Poland 1987 Sell This Version
PSJ-211 Dezerter - Kolaboracja II album art Dezerter Kolaboracja II (Album) PolJazz PSJ-211 Poland 1989 Sell This Version
ALP-055 Dezerter - Wszyscy Przeciwko Wszystkim album art Dezerter Wszyscy Przeciwko Wszystkim (Album) Arston ALP-055 Poland 1990 Sell This Version
QQP 035 Dezerter - Blasfemia album art Dezerter Blasfemia (Album) Izabelin Studio QQP 035 Poland 1992 Sell This Version
PC-155 Dezerter - Ile Procent Duszy? album art Dezerter Ile Procent Duszy? (Album) Warner Music Poland PC-155 Poland 1994 Sell This Version
CDPL 081, none Dezerter - Deuter album art Dezerter Deuter (Album) Polton, Warner Music Poland CDPL 081, none Poland 1995 Sell This Version
PC-178, PC 178 Dezerter - Mam Kły Mam Pazury album art Dezerter Mam Kły Mam Pazury (Album) Polton, Warner Music Poland PC-178, PC 178 Poland 1996 Sell This Version
NNNW 72 Dezerter - Ziemia Jest Płaska album art Dezerter Ziemia Jest Płaska (Album) Warner Music Poland NNNW 72 Poland 1998 Sell This Version
MMP 0134 Dezerter - Decydujące Starcie album art Dezerter Decydujące Starcie (Album) Metal Mind Records MMP 0134 Poland 2001 Sell This Version
MMP CD 0255 Dezerter - Nielegalny Zabójca Czasu album art Dezerter Nielegalny Zabójca Czasu (Album) Metal Mind Records MMP CD 0255 Poland 2004 Sell This Version
none Dezerter - Prawo Do Bycia Idiotą album art Dezerter Prawo Do Bycia Idiotą (Album) Mystic Production none Poland 2010 Sell This Version
LP 46 Dezerter - Większy Zjada Mniejszego album art Dezerter Większy Zjada Mniejszego (Album) Mystic Production LP 46 Poland 2014 Sell This Version
none Dezerter - Kłamstwo To Nowa Prawda album art Dezerter Kłamstwo To Nowa Prawda (Album) Pasażer none Poland 2021 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

N-65 Dezerter - Ku Przyszłości album art Dezerter Ku Przyszłości (EP) Tonpress N-65 Poland 1983 Sell This Version
NNNW 13 Dezerter - Dezerter album art Dezerter Dezerter (EP) Nikt Nic Nie Wie NNNW 13 Poland 1993 Sell This Version
SCD 001 Dezerter - Polton Przedstawia album art Hot Water (2) / Dezerter / Illusion (27) Hot Water (2) / Dezerter / Illusion (27) - Polton Przedstawia(CD, Single, Promo) Polton SCD 001 Poland 1994 Sell This Version
SCD 015 Dezerter - Ostrzega Się! Deuter album art Dezerter Ostrzega Się! Deuter(CD, Single, Promo) Polton SCD 015 Poland 1995 Sell This Version
SCD 033 Dezerter - Mam Kły Mam Pazury album art Dezerter Mam Kły Mam Pazury(CD, Single, Promo) Warner Music Poland, Polton SCD 033 Poland 1996 Sell This Version
SCD 048 Dezerter - Ukryta Kamera album art Dezerter Ukryta Kamera(CD, Single, Promo) Warner Music Poland SCD 048 Poland 1998 Sell This Version
MYSTCD 360 Dezerter - Nienawiść 100% album art Dezerter Nienawiść 100% (EP) Mystic Production MYSTCD 360 Poland 2019 Sell This Version

Compilations

ST 53-93 Dezerter - Jak Powstrzymałem III Wojnę Światową Czyli Nieznana Historia Dezertera album art Dezerter Jak Powstrzymałem III Wojnę Światową Czyli Nieznana Historia Dezertera (Comp) Silverton ST 53-93 Poland 1993 Sell This Version
MMP CD 0420 Dezerter - Punk's Not Jazz album art Dezerter Punk's Not Jazz(2xCD, Comp) Metal Mind Productions MMP CD 0420 Poland 2006 Sell This Version